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King James Ge 39:21 But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.

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JOSEPH 1. The son of Jacob and his beloved Rachel, born in Mesopotamia, Ge 30:22-24, B. C. 1747. He is memorable for the wonderful providence of God, which raised him from a prison to be the grandvizier of Egypt, and made him the honored means of saving countless human lives. His history is one of the most pleasing and instructive in the Bible; and is related in language inimitably natural, simple, and touching. It is too beautiful for abridgment, and too familiar to need rehearsal. It throws much light on the superintending providence of God, as embracing all things, great and small in the perpetual unfolding of his universal plan. No narrative in the Bible more strikingly illustrates the protective and elevating power of the fear of God, and its especial value for the young. To behold this lovely image of filial piety and unwavering faith, of self-control in youth and patience in adversity, of discretion and fidelity in all stations of life, serenely walking with God through all, and at death intrusting soul and body alike into his hands, Heb 11:22; may well lead the young reader to cry, Oh that the God of Joseph were my God, Ge 37:1-36 39:1-50:26. Joseph died, aged on hundred and ten, B. C. 1637; and when the Israelites, a century and a half later, went up from Egypt, they took his bones, and at length buried them in Shechem, Ex 13:19 Jos 24:32. A Mohammedan wely or tomb covers the spot regarded generally, and it may be correctly, as the place of his burial. It is a low stone enclosure, and stands in quiet seclusion among high trees, at the western entrance of the valley of Shechem, at the right of the traveller's path and nearer mount Ebal than mount Gerizim.

2. The husband of Mary, Christ's mother. His genealogy is traced in Mt 1:1-15, to David, Judah, and Abraham. See GENEALOGY. His residence was at Nazareth in Galilee, where he followed the occupation of a carpenter, to which Christ also was trained, Mr 6:3. He was a pious and honorable man, as appears from his whole course towards Mary and her son. They both attended the Passover at Jerusalem when Christ was twelve years of age, Lu 2:41-51; and as no more is said of him in the sacred narrative, and Christ committed Mary to the care of one of his disciples, he is generally supposed to have died before Christ began his public ministry. He seems to have been well known among the Jews, Mr 6:3 Joh 6:42.

3. A native of Arimathea, but at the time of Christ's crucifixion a resident at Jerusalem. He was doubtless a believer in the Messiah, and "waited for the kingdom of God." He was a member of the Jewish Sanhedrim, and opposed in vain their action in condemning the Savior, Lu 23:51. When all was over, he "went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus." It was now night and the Jewish Sabbath was at hand. He therefore, with the aid of Nicodemus, wrapped the body in spices, for the time, and laid it in his own tomb, Mr 15:43-46 Joh 19:38-42.

4. A disciple of Christ, also named Justus, and Barsabas. See BARSABAS.